By Shruti Shah
On October 16th, the American Marketing Association San Francisco hosted an event where marketing professionals from all levels of different industries gathered for a panel discussion on The Evolution of Marketing and what’s next in the Revolution of Disruptive Marketing. Casual networking preceded the panel discussions giving everyone an opportunity to expand their professional network. It was a very diverse group exchanging ideas and opinions, and I thought it was great.
The amazing panel was comprised of Dan Gordon, founder of Gordon Biersch Brewing Company; Marc Pomerleau, Creative Strategy Vice President at Freeman Company; Kyle Wong, CEO of Pixlee; and Rob Fuggetta, Founder & CEO of Zuberance; and it was moderated by Olivia Christian. The discussion itself was very well-structured and allowed the audience to participate by asking questions. The major focus in the discussion revolved around rebranding, user-generated content and experiential events.
Great points were suggested by the panelists for how brands can leverage their existing customers and create a sustainable group of advocates who are equally passionate about the purpose they strive for.
The focus for brands should be to design the experience, not just for measuring the social media engagement but to build trust and a sense of belonging among the customers. Customers have certain expectations from the company, and most brands try their best to fulfill these expectations. But, the ultimate goal is to exceed their expectations and create a consistent experience which will help to make them part of a sustainable group of advocates.
The most effective tool of marketing is word of mouth and the “emotional and economic motivation” that drives customer actions. When we, as a customer, refer a product to friends and family, we genuinely want them to have a good experience and gain value out of it. Thus, we share recommendations for the brands that really matter to us. Companies should focus on creating experiences that will motivate their customers to become brand advocates.
With social media omnipresent, brands are recognizing an increase in the idea of “smart consumerism.” In 2018, the consumer has all the power and the brand belongs to the consumer as soon as it is present in the realm of social media. Brands should learn to leverage that and provide the tools to get problems resolved quickly, focusing on creating user-generated content that is more real.
A very important point that was discussed is that if consumers do not like a product or service, they will create their own—which means the power of disrupting the market lies with the consumers. Examples of this are Airbnb and Uber, where a new market was created to solve a problem that was not realized by any company. Innovation happens when a need remains unfulfilled.
In closing, it was a valuable evening for me to meet amazing people who shared their experience, learnings, and opinions. And, there were a few recent graduates (like me) that benefitted by gaining practical input from industry experts, which I think is really a great opportunity.
In the end, do you agree that the power of disruption lies with consumers? Share your thoughts and personal experience on AMA SF’s LinkedIn page.
From AMA SF: We would like to again extend our thanks to everyone involved in this event, from our board members and volunteers that worked tirelessly to make it happen to the incredible group of panelists and moderator that sacrificed viewing the first Warriors game of the season to be with us. Special thanks go out to our event sponsors:
Werqwise for the great venue space, which is rentable with a variety of membership plans.
Genevieve Shiffrar for the incredible photos. We had a very tough time choosing which ones to feature in the blog. Genevieve does much more than event photos, so make sure to check out her site and book her for your next photography job.
Rob Fuggetta, who donated copies of his book, “Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force” to our contest winners: Natasha Mawella, Janet Standen, and Valerie Camarda.
And, last but certainly not least, a big thank you to Gordon Biersch for supplying the adult beverages that we enjoyed at the event.